Photoessays

Revisiting my photographs from those same trips is dislocating in a different way. Always I find my photographs replete with remainders, pedestrian details that contradict and undermine the equally pedestrian account I committed to words. The colors are different. Drops of scarlet blood on a hard tarmac black as obsidian. An overturned brass samovar in a dingy brown train compartment. A bright alarum of pink cherry blossoms against a glass-flat cobalt sea. There is something about those moments, fugitively apprehended as they might have been, that seem to me now odd and decisive. They don’t at all seem like random samples of the ongoing. I never think, What was so special about this? I think instead, Yes, I remember now exactly what was so special about this. They mutely twitch with escaped significance. When we see what we saw, we are reminded of what was apprehended — and let go.

Photoessays

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